Worshippers in Windsor could face a long wait until they get a new Rector to replace Reverend Ainsley Swift.

Mr Swift leaves on May 31 to take over as vicar of Bray - leaving four churches Windsor Parish in High Street, All Saints Church in Frances Road, Holy Trinity in Claremont Road and St Stephen and St Agnes in Vansittart Road without a cleric.

Churchwarden for Holy Trinity Steve Holton fears the post could still be vacant at Christmas.

The problem is that a vacancy is not officially recognised by the church until the departing priest starts his new job, which in Mr Swift's case will not be until his official induction at Bray on July 12. But he leaves Windsor at the end of this month.

Writing in this month's Windsor Church News Mr Holton says: "The intention is to try and maintain the current pattern of services in all the team churches, as well as Saturday surgery. But please be prepared to experience different clergy presiding at services, as well as some lay led services, or perhaps more team services."

Steve Smith, the churches' team administrator, has agreed to manage the monthly rota of services but Mr Holton warns: "Christmas may be more of a challenge.

"There is more to the incumbent's role than leading services and Ainsley is preparing details of all his responsibilities so decisions can be made about which can be supported and which may need to be put on hold for a while.

"It is clear that not everything will be able to be maintained."